Intimate Apparel

By Lynn Nottage

Directed By Michael Mendelson

September 9, 2014 – October 5, 2014

Alder Stage

Set in 1905 NYC, this riveting tale is about the empowerment of Esther, an African American seamstress who creates exquisite lingerie for Fifth Avenue boudoirs and red-light brothels. As she yearns for a different life, she finds unconventional friendships with clients that defy race, religion and class. Artists Rep kicks off the 2014/15 season with the long-awaited Portland debut of this award-winning, Off-Broadway and regional theatre sensation by a Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright.

  • Portland Premiere
  • Designs by Resident Artists Mary McDonald-Lewis & Rodolfo Ortega 

RUNNING TIME: Approximately 2 hours and 10 minutes plus one intermission

Cast and Production Team


Ayanna Berkshire +^


Sara Hennessy +^

Mrs. Van Buren

Chris Harder +^

Mr. Marks

Vin Shambry +^


Dedra D. Woods ±


Demene E. Hall +

Mrs. Dickson


Michael Mendelson +*^



Scenic Designer: Jack O'Brien

Costume Designer: Sarah Gahagan ^

Lighting Designer: Brent J. Sullivan

Composer/Sound Designer: Rodolfo Ortega #^

Props Master: Natalie Rae Heikkinen

Stage Manager: Carol Ann Wohlmut +^

Stage Manager: Gavin Hales

Assistant Director/Dramaturg: Jessica Evans Irvine

Production Assistant: Will Bailey

+ Member of Actors Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the U.S.

* Member of Stage Directors and Choreographers Society

# The scenic, costume, lighting, projection & sound designers are represented by United Scenic Artists

± Equity Membership Candidate

^ Artists Rep Resident Artist

Production Media




"...dreamy and vigorous, thoughtful yet rife with action. - Holly Johnsons for The Oregonian. Read the full review here

“I love it. It’s beautifully acted and beautifully done." - Audience Member

"you keep leaning forward in your chair, wanting to know more. ... Intimate Apparel is a small, beautiful story told well, without embellishment. How I wish more theatre artists would learn from this example." - Patrick Brassell, Broadway World. Read the full review here

“Best show I have seen in a long time.” - Audience Member

“… a triumph with a stellar cast ... must-see season opener.” - Nathan Tucker, Portland Monthly Magazine. Read it here.

“What an incredible way to start the season!” - Audience Member

"Nottage's play has a delicacy and eloquence that seem absolutely right for the time she is depicting…New York has no richer play…" —NY Daily News.

"…thoughtful, affecting…The play offers poignant commentary on an era when the cut and color of one's dress—and of course, skin—determined whom one could and could not marry, sleep with, even talk to in public." —Variety.

"Ms. Nottage has done so much good historical research…I want Ms. Nottage to keep working with this form; we see it so little, and we need it so much." —NY Times.

"…a near-perfect balance between content and execution…" —Associated Press.